Sexual Offenses

Sex Offenses Require an Experienced Defense

No crime bears a greater stigma than a sex crime. To be publicly accused of such an act jeopardizes a person’s life, family, job and reputation unless resolved without a conviction. In many cases, the attorneys at Chappell, Lanehart & Stangl have been successful in putting an end to such accusations before formal charges are brought. Even when a public accusation for a serious sex crime is brought, the attorneys at CL&S are experts at resolving such cases to our client’s benefit through negotiation, skillful legal maneuvers and in trial. In trial, prosecutors almost always seek swift convictions and maximum punishments for serious sex crimes, so it is imperative to be represented by experienced and skilled defense attorneys.

Chappell, Lanehart & Stangl has handled numerous accusations of sex crimes involving pastors, teachers, college students and other respected members of the community. In the last decade, sex crime laws have expanded in several areas, and several crimes now have an online component. A sex crime defense today requires extensive knowledge of the law, character evidence, computer forensics and effective trial advocacy.

Criminal Attorneys Defending all Sexual Offenses

According to The Texas Department of Public Safety for 2016, the most common sex offense was Sexual Assault, also known as rape. But there are many other serious sex offenses under Texas law.

Felony Sex Offenses in Texas

  • Sexual Assault: In 2016, 313 sexual assault crimes were pursed by the Lubbock Police, which is high for a city of this size in Texas. The punishment range for sexual assault can be increased significantly if force or threat of force is alleged.
  • Child Sex Offenses: Continuous sexual assault of a child, aggravated sexual assault of a child, statutory rape of a child, indecency with a child by contact or exposure, improper relationship between educator/student and online solicitation of a child. Child pornography cases tend to be filed in federal court, but it can depend on the amount of material, producing or distributing material and past criminal history.
  • Computer/Phone/Internet Sex Crimes:
    • Invasive visual recording: happening through photographs or videotape with the intent or action of promotion.
    • Improper photography or visual recording: a newer crime added in 2015, the “revenge porn” law makes sharing intimate photos or videos of another individual without consent a crime.
  • Sexual Coercion: Added in 2017, this new law makes it illegal to threaten (or blackmail) another individual over the release of intimate visual material, or to conduct a sexual act, or for money.
  • Bestiality: Already illegal in Texas, in 2017 the law was expanded to include additional definitions.

Sexual Assualt Charges in 2016

Misdemeanor Sex Crimes

  • Include public indecency and indecent exposure.
  • Voyeurism is also a misdemeanor and differs from invasive visual recording when it is through observation (not using an electronic device).
  • Prostitution is typically a misdemeanor and can be charged to the prostitute, promotion of the prostitute and to the solicitor.

Sentencing & Punishment

Most sex crimes are felonies and are pursued in Texas courts to the maximum extent of the law. Felony sex crimes carry a minimum penalty of two years in prison and can result in a life sentence, depending on the degree of crime alleged. Most sex crimes also carry a stiff fine of $10,000, and many require sex offender registration for life. Registering as a sex offender can continually affect a defendant’s reputation and limit job opportunities and living arrangements.

Crimes that involve children always carry stiffer penalties and can be filed in federal court.

Minors and young adults in college may be accused in sex cases when issues of verbal consent and age of consent are legal issues. When such a case is brought, even a young person with no prior criminal history may face serious felony consequences if not properly represented by an experienced attorney.

Texas Law was expanded in 2017 to expose more sex crimes and boost penalties during sentencing. For example, Senate Bill 7 allows school leaders to be charged for concealing inappropriate relationships between students and teachers.

Hire Chappell, Stangl & Lanehart for Sex Crimes

Board Certified in Criminal Law by the State Bar of Texas with decades of experience, Chuck Lanehart and Fred Stangl are eminently qualified to aggressively defend those accused of sex offenses. They have successfully handled many cases involving college students, business owners, professionals and other community members.

Areas of Practice

Real Clients. Real Results

“Thank you Chuck for everything. We really appreciate all that you have done for our family.”

– Father of a student in college represented by Chuck Lanehart. The young adult was charged with Title IX/sexual assault that ended successfully. For the same student, an unrelated misdemeanor was further dismissed and expunged.

“I really want to thank y’all for what you all have done for me! Thank you thank you thank you, hands down you all are the most professional and caring criminal law firm in Lubbock!”

– Client was age 19 when charged with sexual assault of a child. Chuck Lanehart convinced the grand jury that the sex was consensual between two young people, although the girl was age 16, technically unable to consent. Then, we were able to obtain an expunction for the client a few years later.

Former Lubbock Pastor Accused of Molestation Receives Mistrial

Chuck Lanehart’s defense led to hung jury, mistrial and ultimately a case dismissal for a Lubbock pastor accused of indecency with a child.

Lanehart’s defense called into question the plaintiff’s credibility through character witness statements. “This is the kind of case where you have to judge a man’s character,” Lanehart said. “The just thing in this case is to find an innocent man innocent because that is the truth.”

Teacher Receives Probation, Avoiding Sex Offender Registration

Chuck Lanehart’s client, a female teacher at Muleshoe High School was indicted for improper relations with a student in 2013. Ultimately, the defendant received a deferred sentence of probation in exchange for resignation. She was released on a bond of $5,000 and avoided conviction, sex offender registration and potentially, twenty years in state prison.